Episode 042: How To Train For A Marathon After Overtraining with Jessica Hofheimer

Episode 042: How To Train For A Marathon After Overtraining with Jessica Hofheimer

I first interviewed Jess Hofheimer way back in Episode 016 where she shared her story on overtraining. So if you haven’t listened to that episode yet, go listen to it before you listen to this one.

In that episode you’ll hear Jess talk about how she ran herself into burnout, overtraining and eventually adrenal depletion. At the time recorded that interview, she was embarking on a training cycle for a Spring Marathon, which she successfully ran this past March. While some may view success by the time they finished the race in, Jess’ mindset has shifted.

In this follow-up episode, you’ll hear her share:

  • How she now defines her success

  • How she trained for this marathon

  • What diet and lifestyle habits she did differently this time

  • How she recovered from the race

  • What “running with integrity” means to her

  • What’s next on her race calendar

Listen to the Episode: 

Mentioned In this Episode:

How to Connect with Jess Hofheimer:

How to Connect with Naomi:

Share the episode:

Click Here to Read the Episode Transcript...

Naomi: Today I have a repeat guest on the show, Jessica Hofheimer first appeared way back in Episode 16, where she shared her story on overtraining. If you haven't listened to that episode yet, please go back and listen to that one before you listen to this one, because that one sets this one up very nicely.

Because in that episode you'll hear Jess talk about how she ran herself into burnout, and overtraining, and eventually adrenal depletion. And at that time that we recorded that interview, she was beginning to embark on a training cycle to attempt a comeback at the full marathon, which she successfully ran this past March. That's what we're talking about in this episode.

While some may view success by their finish time, Jess' mindset has shifted. In today's episode you will hear her share how she now defines her success, how she trained for this marathon, and how it was different than previous training cycles, what her diet and lifestyle habits were like this time around and, again, how it differed from before, how she recovered from this race, what running with integrity means to her, and what's next on her race calendar.

As always, you can catch the show notes for this episode, which includes how to connect with Jess on Instagram and on her website, but you really do have to connect with her on Instagram because it's so uplifting and inspiring. But you can catch all of that on the show notes at www.livefablife.com/042, for Episode 042.

So with that, let's get to the show.

Hi Jess, welcome back to the show.

Jess: Hi, thank you for having me back.

Naomi: I am so excited to dive into this conversation with you. I had you on last fall, I think late fall, and you talked about your experience with overtraining, training for marathons, and with burnout. In that episode you talked about how you're convinced that you could run a marathon, and I'm using air quotes here, "the right way" without burnout, and you do. You did. We first connected on Instagram and I saw that you did that on Instagram, and I thought, "I've got to have her back to talk about this," because I want to know what you did, and I'm sure the listeners want to know what you did.

Let's just start off at the top. Tell me, how did the race go?

Jess: It was awesome. I think I had talked to you right after I ran a half marathon.

Naomi: I think it was late November, early December maybe?

Jess: I seem to remember, 'cause I feel like it was before I had actually started to train for the fall. But I had my sights set on it, I may have even picked out the race, but I ran a half in November. To me, that was going to be sort of like the gauge of, "Do I think I really can embark into a full, full-on marathon?" I needed to prove to myself that I could do the half first.

Naomi: Of course.

Jess: I did. I did do that. Which that in and of itself, I would say, is a sign of growth, because I ever did even my first 5K, way back when, I signed up for a marathon. I'm the kind of person well, you go all in. I was one of those people that didn't necessarily even know how many miles a marathon was, I just knew it was something that was a big deal.

Naomi: I also think that's the type of personality that might get into over trained, right? Because you're like, "I can do anything. I can do this."

Jess: Yeah, yeah. That was, in and of itself, a sign of growth, and respect for the process, and respect for myself and my body, in that the journey is not like when you have more of a holistic picture of what it is that you're looking to accomplish, you're wiser. After that race, I had worked with a coach for my half, and she was wonderful, and I was really happy to have a running coach. It was very helpful, particularly with that training cycle, to have a sounding board, to have somebody who would celebrate the accomplishments with me, help me when I was feel any worries or anxiety during the training.

Naomi: You're a running coach, but you had a running coach?

Jess: Yeah, and I have before. Actually, when I got into a sticky situation with my overtraining, I was working with a coach for 18 months, during that period of time. I'm working on this, but I was really such a people pleaser during that time, any time he threw something at me, I wanted to do what he said to a T. Even, unfortunately, if it didn't necessarily feel right for me physically, or emotionally, I did it anyway, 'cause it was on his plan. It was what he believed I could do.

Unfortunately that was part of why I got myself into that situation, and not listening to my own intuition. When I was getting back into this, recovering from the overtraining, I wanted to work with someone. I hired a woman, because part of me just felt, at the time, that would be really important to me. I felt very comfortable that I could tell her anything and everything. Someone who had been, not through overtraining from a standpoint of adrenal issues, and the metabolism type of stuff, but she had been injured and come back from that before.

I worked with her for the half marathon training cycle, and it was super-valuable. But, after that, I really felt that it was important for me to self-coach for my marathon. I needed to prove to myself that I could trust myself with myself, and take the reins again on my own journey with running, and racing, and staying healthy. When I did that, I guess I started training for, it was on March 17th marathon, on St. Paddy's Day, and I started training for that sometime in December, I believe. I took about a month fairly off, after my half, just to take it easy, run for fun, not have any sort of structure for a while.

Then I created my own training plan, and as I did all of that, I scheduled a treatment with my therapist once a month. She had actually told me, I can't remember if you and I had talked about this, but she had sent me an email. At that point we were seeing each other once a month, and she was like, "Jess, you're doing so great, I can discharge your file, we can just close the book on it." I wrote her back and I was like, "No. Do we have to do that?" I felt like I wanted to make sure I stayed running with integrity, and she had just been so helpful to me in strengthening my own confidence, in taking care of myself from that. Dealing with any triggers that might come my way, or recognizing if I was falling into patterns, just thinking and behaving with good exercise, that might not be really in my best interest in the long-term, or the short-term. But, at the same time, knowing that I had an appointment on the calendar with her once a month, where I would be checking in with her if anything did come up. I went to see her and, when I left that appointment we scheduled the next one.

Naomi: It's just maintenance. I do the same thing with my therapist. Just like you, I was seeing him for stress, and he got to the point where he was like, "I think you're doing okay." I said, "Can we just do a quarterly check-in, just for maintenance?" And that's exactly what I still to, to this day.

Jess: That's about where I am now with there, but during the marathon training cycles, I just thought once a month. And I see my physical therapist once a month, even if I don't have any injury, and deal with my chiropractor. I was just like, "You know? Cognitive, health, mental, emotional health is just as important, and don't deal that off."

Naomi: It takes a village.

Jess: Yeah. That was really cool, because she was there for me, and I don't know. I feel like I've had different therapists in my life, since I was a teenager. Never, ever did I really believe in it, because I always felt ... And part of that, I'm sure, was part of teenage mind. But I just felt like they were trying to figure me out, or they just knew best. I didn't ever really feel heard. But, with this therapist, I've been working with her now for almost two years. At first it was once a week, sometimes I saw her more than once a week. Then gradually we could stretch out the time. But I've said things to my husband, and even to her, like, "I feel like I'm paying you to be my friend."

Naomi: No, but you just said something really powerful. It's so nice to be heard, right?

Jess: Yeah.

Naomi: That's how I feel with my therapist is that I can say anything to him, without any judgment, 'cause we had no other connections. We have no social connections, we have no professional connections other than this patient-doctor relationship, so it's a very objective, safe space, where I really do feel heard, and I can say things, and get objective feedback

I really love that you're applying this to your running.

Jess: It's so important, because I recognize that running even though, for me, I do hold very true is the practice for me, running is a practice. It is my thing like meditation, it is time for stillness, my favorite way to move. I love to move other ways too. That was a very valuable lesson when I hurt my foot and I couldn't run, and I recognized that I love to move. I love to go for a walk. I love to go for a swim. I love to dance in my kitchen with my kids. It's just healing. Movement is strengthening, movement is nourishing, and so it's not just running.

Though there is that part of me that can tend to be obsessive, could be so focused and goal-oriented-

Naomi: Well, it's also the achievement, right? We're almost addicted to the achievement.

Jess: Absolutely. And it is a way, it can be sort of a way to manage stress, that sometimes can be escaping, what you might actually be paying attention to in your mind, and in your life. And so I don't want it to become an unhealthy coping mechanism ever again. That's really what had happened. It had become an unhealthy coping mechanism for me, and I love it so much, and did not want to risk jeopardizing the joy I feel, and the peace I feel when I'm doing it. So-

Naomi: I am super-curious that you self-coached yourself through this marathon. Talk to me about your training plan, and how it might have been different than other ways that you trained in the past?

Jess: Well, I have been coaching or about nine years now. And, when I initially started coaching, I went through a coaching certification program, and did tons of reading, and studying, and research, and talking with others who I value their opinions, and their expertise. In the first few years with my running, I always self-coached. It really wasn't until I hired someone that I got myself into trouble. I tried to go back to, "Okay, well what was working well during that time?" So I could see how I was doing things, and not just ... Because I had kind of developed this, I don't know, shame around how I thought I dug a hole for myself. I needed to recognized that it wasn't all bad. I did some great things, and I wanted to highlight those for myself.

One of the things I do, with coaching myself and every athlete that I coached, I have the same principle, and it's nothing groundbreaking. It's based on decades of research. Is I'll have a couple of weeks where I'll train to build myself, and then I take, intentionally, a week where I pull back on the intensity of the mileage, the intensity of workout, and I just build in waves within the bigger picture of the cycle. And I plot it out in the beginning, and I just use a Google doc, a spreadsheet, and look at the numbers, and then I do the math on that.

Okay, this is how I'm gonna build, and then I'm gonna come down, and then I structure it as far as what types of workouts, and runs, and how to safely build my mileage, and when certain workouts are appropriate, given how my fitness is coming along, and what kind of adaptations I'm trying to simulate, or achieve, through that block of training.

I create a spreadsheet, and that is the plan, but then I will take it week-by-week, day-by-day, I'm-

Naomi: That's what I was gonna ask you. What kind of flexibility to you allow yourself, given how you feel? 'Cause I know for me when I was training, same thing like you, I had a coach, I had a coach but, at the same time, the coach is only as good as how much you're honest with them. I had so much fear about taking those easy weeks, and not listening to my body, and doing exactly what the training plan said. If I didn't, I considered myself a failure, or not progressing, or that mindset.

Jess: I coach my athletes this way, where I don't let ... I mean, I might let them in on my big picture thinking, as far as how I'm doing these waves of building and recovery. Yeah, they are gonna have some longer runs toward the end of the training cycle, before we taper, but I don't even let them see that stuff, because a lot of runners are just like you, including myself. Where it's, "Oh, I see that there, and if coach changes that, does that mean that I suck? Or I can't do what she thought I could do in the beginning, or whatever?"

I don't want it to create that kind of anxiety, 'cause nothing is set in stone. That isn't reality, that isn't health, that isn't how things work, very basically. You also could, not only are you potentially risking overdoing things, but you're also risking maybe missing out on some potential, because you made some decision early on, and you pigeonholed yourself. It's a little tricky when you're training yourself, because you can't-

Naomi: You don't have the perspective of somebody else.

Jess: Yeah.

Naomi: Yeah.

Jess: This training cycle though, my goals, I have layers of goals. It wasn't a time goal. I didn't have that. I didn't say, "Oh, I'm gonna run this in X-"

Naomi: I think that's really smart in your first marathon back, after going through what you went through.

Jess: I had an idea of what my fitness was at, because I was doing workouts, and running. I know enough to feel I have a ballpark idea of what pace would be smart for me to strive. I mean, the marathon, you have to listen to your body absolutely, but you cannot ... You have to be smart about the strategy, the execution of the race. You have to an idea of what you think appropriate fitness is on the day.

Naomi: Well, I also think listening to your body is a skill that needs to be developed.

Jess: Oh yeah, for sure. Absolutely. I didn't set out with that marathon to run. The training cycle was not all about the time. When the race came around, I knew what pace to run, and I knew how I should feel at certain stages of the race. I mean, I was really happy. Another goal that I had, was to be able to share it with my family. We rented a house right on the race course, so it would be easy for my husband and the kids to see me. I think they saw me four or five times. I passed our house three times. Then they saw me at the finish, so it was four times. That was so awesome. We were there for a three-day weekend, it was all about joy, and having the whole experience be shared with people that I loved.

I had friends there. Actually, three of the women that I coach were also running the same race, which was really cool to get to be there. I actually wound up getting to finish the last three miles with one woman that I coach, and I'd been training her for over three years. That was really gratifying. She doesn't live near me.

That was really fun. Two of them that I coach, they ran and qualified for Boston. It was so fun to get to celebrate that with them, in real life. From a standpoint of the race itself, I had an awesome day. I crossed the finish line with my two boys. They hopped in the finishing chute to run with me. I felt happy, and joyful when I crossed the finish line, and I wasn't wiped out.

Naomi: I think that's the difference, right? It's just in your mindset, and in your approach to the whole thing.

Jess: Yeah.

Naomi: I want to get into some other things that maybe you might have done differently leading up to the race, specifically around, did you eat differently in terms of your diet? And did you have any different changes, or approaches, to your lifestyle, in terms of ... You just shared about how you manage your stress, and use your therapist, but also in terms of your sleep. How did you approach all of those other factors?

Jess: Yeah. Okay. Nutrition was the big one, that was very drastically different from when I was overtraining. I was much better about making sure that I was eating throughout the day. I'd always been pretty good about making sure my foods had nutrients in them. Then I was eating foods that were high quality food, nourishing foods. But I wasn't good about making sure I got enough of them. I was much better about that. I just made sure that I wasn't skipping meals, or-

Naomi: Under eating?

Jess: Yeah, it was under eating. I made sure, particularly too ... Right about the run is when a lot of the problems would happen for me, is because I would do a lot of my fasted when I wasn't healthy. It would be because there was a lot of talk at the time, about glycogen depleted running, and being able to burn fat for fuel when you run. Now I roll my eyes at it because I think there is a time and a place to implement that as a strategy, if you do it correctly, but people aren't educated enough, and I was one of those people. I just did that a lot, and I would go into almost every run fasted. Then, the issue was that I don't think that I was adequately hydrated with electrolytes, or enough energy in a nutrition standpoint. Then I had all this GI distress.

When I was overtraining, and spelling disaster for myself, I just constantly had to make bathroom stops, every run. My girlfriends would make fun of me. I called the porta pottys the emerald palace, 'cause it was green and, "Of course I need it."

Naomi: Everybody thinks these are common things, and they're common, but they're not normal.

Jess: Right, totally. Yup. Totally. Then, after the run, I'd completely deplete myself, and then I wouldn't have an appetite-

Naomi: Yes.

Jess: ... and so I didn't recover very well. I got away with that for a really long time. I actually consider myself quite like, because I think it could have been way worse. I think my overtraining could have been way more disastrous for me, long-term. I think I'm lucky because I didn't do irreparable damage to my metabolism. I didn't lose my menstrual cycle. A lot of things could have been very difficult to repair, if not impossible. So-

Naomi: What you just described is exactly what I used to do. I used to think, read all of these Runner's World magazines about, "You have to learn how to burn fat, and run in a fasted state," and I didn't even know what ketosis was, but that's basically what they were talking about. I had zero knowledge of it, and I tried to do it from really incomplete advice, in an article. All those things that you talk about, those things all did manifest with me, and I think I did lose my cycle, for 10 years. All of these things did happen, and I 100% relate to what you're saying, 'cause it's the reality that, I think, not everyone's willing to talk about, or to admit

Jess: Yeah, and you don't think it's happening to you when it is.

Naomi: Or you think it's normal because these are things you hear that happens with female athletes.

Jess: Yeah, absolutely. I got lots of considerable amount of symptoms but, without the signs of my period going away, or a stress fracture, a lot of these other things that you look for, with the female athlete triad, or adrenal fatigue, things like that. I didn't have those signs. It took, I would probably say, two years of training at the level. In the short-term it paid off. Guess what? I was really fast, and I got praise, I was doing little modeling type jobs as a runner, and people would comment how good I looked, how I had transformed. That felt really, really good. But I was on a path to danger.

When I was getting back into marathoning again, I didn't want ... I think we talked about this, you repeat what you don't repair, and I didn't want to get lured by the same patterns all over again. I don't know, convince myself that maybe it was different this time, maybe whatever. That was part of ... I put, in my home gym, which unfortunately I had to run in there a couple of times in the winter, because it was below 15 degrees, and I don't train outside in conditions like that. I was running in my, we have a garage, and I made a little gym in the garage area of it. It's a two car garage, but we only park one car on it, 'cause we need the gym.

Anyways, I have one of those cute little, I don't know, it's like a board you can put your letters on-

Naomi: It's a letter board.

Jess: Yeah, the letter board. Wow, what a great name for it.

Naomi: I didn't know it was a thing until I see it at Target, and I'm like, "Oh, this is a thing."

Jess: I got to order mine off Etsy or something, before it made it to Target. Anyways, it's still there. I have, "Run with integrity," on there. That was my little mantra. Any time I felt tempted to maybe see could I push ... And I'm saying that, but I don't really recall that I felt temptation to do that. The kinds of things I felt more, were things in my head where I would criticize myself because I'm much heavier now, and slower than I was. That was the language would be in my head, was like, "You're heavier. You're not fast like you were. Why are you doing this? You're carrying 20 more pounds Jess." Sort of that brain bleed in there. Then I would counter that with, "No. You're running with integrity, and you will be better, stronger, happier, healthier, all the things that truly matter to you, about who you are, and who you want to be. That's what you need to focus on."

Naomi: That's a really healthy approach.

Jess: I would have, if I would see a photograph of me, or something like that, I'd be like that's sort of my first instinct, to be like, "Oh." Then it's, "No, wait."

Naomi: Oh, I'm the same way. I've definitely put on weight. I still have a lot issues going on with my health but, at the same time, I look at a picture of myself wearing a size two, and I look great in that picture, but I was so miserable, and so sick, and nobody knows what was really going on behind the scenes of that picture.

Jess: Yeah, isn't that amazing? You're so not alone, because I know exactly what you mean.

Naomi: That's why I have these real people interviews, because I think a lot of us lived this way, thinking that we're the only ones, and I think it's important to have these conversations.

Jess: I agree so much.

Naomi: What was your recovery like after the race? I know a lot of people think that ... I've seen people take five days off, and it's too much for them, and they get right back into running, or they're doing speed work two weeks later. I'm like, "What are you doing?"

Jess: Oh yeah. That was not me-

Naomi: That was me before.

Jess: Well I would be like that. I used to think I was so awesome because I took a week off after a marathon. I'd already have the next one on the calendar.

Naomi: I would have the next one on the calendar before I ran the one I was training for.

Jess: Oh totally, totally, totally. After the marathon, I realized some things. With the race, itself, around mile 18, 18 1/2, somewhere around then, my stomach got upset. When that happens, I ate one of my gels, and I was so devastated because my entire training cycle that did not happen to me. Every workout, long run, there was not a single issue with GI.

Naomi: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's also the element of the nerves on stress day, that add to the ... Your body has a response to that.

Jess: Well, yeah. Here the thing is, in the moment ... That morning I texted one of my girlfriends, and I was like, "I feel so nervous, my tummy doesn't feel right." Part of it was because I didn't put myself on very many start lines. This was March. The last time I had run a race was November, and the time before that was a little 5K in September, and the time before that was maybe two years. I didn't have a lot of practice in recent times, of putting myself on a start line.

Naomi: It's funny what that start line does for your mind, huh?

Jess: Totally. Then the other part of was that I had three athletes running the felt. I felt a lot of ... There was a lot inside my heart and mind about wanting to make sure that I was wholly present for them, and not wrapped up in my own race. That was just so important to me. Then I felt like, "Oh my gosh. Am I prepared? Do I know what I'm doing?" There was a lot of that.

But once I got going in the race, I executed my plan, I felt really good, and those kind of worries seemed to go away. I took my feeling on point, at each ... I think I took my first gel around mile four and a half to five, I took another one around mile ... It was about every five miles, roughly. It was like clockwork. Everything was smooth, I didn't have any issues but, right around mile 20 I took another one, and it was like, "Oh no." I just felt it. I stopped, and I went to the bathroom, and then I tried to get back on pace, and my stomach started to talk to me again. I literally had a conversation with myself. I was like, "Okay, you know you can do this," because in the past I'd always had tummy issues. And what I chose to do in the past was say, "Screw that body, we're doing this. It's up to me, and I move that I make myself suffer, and get across to the finish line," and be doubled over in pain.

When I ran my PR at Boston in 2014, I couldn't stand up straight for two days. I had horrible symptoms, I mean blood in my stool. It was kind of gross, but it was the truth.

Naomi: It's the truth, and it happens. It happened to me. We're not the only two people it happened to.

Jess: I remember actually texting a friend of mine who's a super, she's an Olympic trials qualified runner, she ran in college, she is so accomplished as a runner. I told her I was really alarmed when that happened to me, and she was like, "Totally normal." But for me, it was not.

Naomi: It was common, but not normal.

Jess: No, it was not normal for me. It's not normal for anyone but, at the time, it had never happened.

Naomi: Right.

Jess: Yes, I had this great medal around my neck, and a new time that I could say, "Hey, I ran the super-fast time." But, the fact was, I was sick. I had talked to a coach after that happened, and he was like, "Jess, you probably should have gone to the ER." I may have done some kidney damage that day, I don't know. I never got it checked out 'cause I was so happy that I ran my 3:11, who cares if I can't sit up straight?

But, in Wrightsville, when I ran the marathon in March, when that happened to my tummy, I was like, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, and I don't want to." I do not want to do that to myself. It felt like I loved myself, for the first time as a runner. I didn't ever have that experience before. I didn't not want to make myself suffer. That doesn't mean that it's gonna feel easy, or that you're just gonna be like, "Let's keep it ..." You're running a marathon. It's hard. Things are gonna hurt.

But there is a difference between injuring yourself, or causing-

Naomi: Irreparable damage.

Jess: Yeah. Instead I slowed down, and I was very much at peace with that. Certainly was disappointed to a certain degree, 'cause it happened and I didn't want that. I didn't want that to happen in my day. However, in hindsight I was so grateful that it did, because I realized I was strong enough to honor myself. If that hadn't have happened, I wouldn't have finished the last three miles with my athlete, who caught up to me, because-

Naomi: Right.

Jess: That was a beautiful experience. If that hadn't happened, I don't know how I would have shown up at the finish line. But, because I showed up so fulfilled, and proud, and happy, my boys hopped in and finished with me, with a happy, strong mom. I mean, those pictures make me so happy, 'cause it was an awesome moment.

After that happened, I was, "Okay, I need to recover from this, and if I want to continue to do this, I need to do things differently. I still need to figure this out." I took ... I'm trying to think. The race was March 17th. I took two weeks off, no running.

Naomi: Completely no running, at all?

Jess: Completely no running, and one week where I didn't do anything else either. I went to maybe walks, but not power walks. Just maybe during my son's soccer practice-

Naomi: Yeah, 'cause you have to move still.

Jess: I didn't even do Pilates, which I do pretty regularly because I'm a Pilates teacher, and I love it. But my whole body was sore. I took that time off, and the second week I kind of eased into a little bit of moderate, light, maybe some yoga. I was still moving at the yoga studio, Pilates. And then my family and I went on a 10-day vacation. We went sailing, so I couldn't run. I literally had, I guess it was over three weeks, of no running. When we were on our sailing trip, I wasn't even on land. I would go-

Naomi: There was nowhere to run.

Jess: Right. There was no land. I mean, we would get off on these little islands, but then also, in conjunction with that, I ate tons of things that I might not normally eat, 'cause I was on vacation. I just enjoyed that. It was such a beautiful ... We went to the British Virgin Islands, and I'd never been there before. It was my whole family, and my sister-in-law, and her whole family, and my mother and father-in-law who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and mother-in-law's 70th birthday. So it was all of us, on this little 50 foot boat. I mean, it wasn't that little 'cause we all had to sleep on it. It was like camping on water, and it was beautiful, and exactly what I needed.

I hadn't done any running, and when we came back from that, I started with maybe 30 minutes runs. Actually wound up working with a coach who had started to help me before I ... Not before I overtrained, 'cause I was already overtrained. When I thought I was not overtrained any more, I was like, "Cool, I'm in the clear. My ferritin is up, everything's good." Then my foot started to hurt, and I found out I had adrenal fatigue, so he didn't ever get to coach me. But we're very good friends, and very compassionate, and understanding, and supportive during that time. He couldn't coach me, 'cause I couldn't run.

Then actually, when I wound up being ready to run again, I reached out to him first, and he ... The woman that coached me was coaching under him, and he was like, "I feel like she'd be a really good fit for right now." So he put her with me. It's a long story, but she wound up peeling off, and starting her own business. Once I was ready, I was like, "Okay." I really felt like he would be a really good fit for me.

He took me under his wing, and has been ... I still haven't chosen ... I don't know what I'm doing, as far as-

Naomi: Your next race, right.

Jess: Yeah. I actually talked to him the other day about it, 'cause a lot of people are deciding on what their fall racing plans are, and I really didn't start to do ... I started in with easy, 30-minute runs here or there, after I got back from that vacation, and he was barely putting anything on my schedule. I was like, "Dude. Come one, I'm ready." And he was like, "No. When was the last time you took an unforced break?"

Naomi: Yeah.

Jess: I feel like he had been sent. I had talked with him prior to my marathon, and he wasn't coaching me, but he was just being a friend. I feel like he's onboard with me, my long-term goals, really long, a big picture, my whole life that I want to be running for my whole life. But then I have some goals that are long-term, as in like three years from now-

Naomi: Of course.

Jess: ... and so, right now, it doesn't really make sense to say, "Okay, I'm gonna race this marathon in November." I need to be more open, and just take it more day-by-day, week-by-week. I feel like, I did an 8K, part of a plan was, "Let's put you on the start lines a little bit more," just to get past those race day nerves that we were talking about. 'Cause his hunch was, "Because this didn't affect you at during your training, I really think it was nerves."

Naomi: Oh yeah-

Jess: It's just like what you said.-

Naomi: ... I absolutely believe that too.

Jess: Yeah. I have this little ... I read somewhere, I don't remember where, I think was Kristin Armstrong, years ago, 'cause I loved her writing. She wrote something, I want to say it was her. Maybe don't quote me on it, but I'm gonna attribute it to her, 'cause she's awesome anyway. But, it was something along the lines of, "Put a bib on it." You know, like Beyonce, "Put a ring on it?" This is like, "Well, you gotta put a bib on it." I'll be like, (singing) So I have to do it, I really want to do it, I'm gonna put a bib on it, and I'm gonna put myself out there and practice this. I've done that. I've done the 8K-

Naomi: I think that's so smart, and I really like what she said with 'unforced rest', because when it comes to runners, let's be honest, the only time you only take rests are when they're forced by injury, or illness.

Jess: It's true. I really valued that. I asked James, my coach, maybe a week or two ago. I was like, "So, what are your thoughts? Do you think I should choose a race? 'Cause I don't know that I really want to, but I would love to know your thoughts." He was like, "I feel like we can't really know right now, and if you can be okay with that." But the soonest he would recommend, would be late fall, December. But he was like, "But I'd really rather February, March, maybe April."

I wrote him back and I was like, "Then it's a no-brainer." I don't feel this need-

Naomi: And that would be a whole year. Yeah.

Jess: It would. I want to have fun with it. I'm still running a lot-

Naomi: Yeah you are. I see you on Instagram-

Jess: Yeah, and I run it, I'm enjoying it so much-

Naomi: Just knowing you, and following your story, just in the pictures and the stories that you share, you can tell that you have a lot of joy in it. I think people can tell through the things that we share, whether we're being authentic or not.

Jess: Wow, I think you're right.

Naomi: I really feel that you are. And I get that, just from the pictures that you share, and the stories that you share too.

Jess: Aww, well I'm glad, 'cause you want it to be exactly how you feel, you want it to come across that way, but you don't always-

Naomi: And I do want to say, since our first interview, we have since met in person-

Jess: That's right.

Naomi: ... because we were still at ... We met at the Beauty Counter Leadership Summit, and you are exactly, in person, the way you are online. 'Cause you know some people you meet, and you're like, "They're not kind of the same." But, you know, you were exactly the same.

Jess: You were too. I know exactly what you mean, and I appreciate that. That makes me feel good, 'cause that's what you want. You want people to know what, you want to show up as who you are, everywhere that you show up.

Naomi: Absolutely. Well, I am so happy for you, and I am so grateful that you shared your story with us. I have wondered if it's possible to do a marathon after going through the type of overtraining that we did, to the extent that you've experienced it, and I've experienced it. I'm not saying I would ever a marathon again, 'cause I don't even know if I want to. It's hard work.

Jess: You have to want to.

Naomi: You have to want to, and I'm not forcing that upon myself. I haven't felt it yet. But, if I ever do again, I know that it's possible.

Jess: Yeah, absolutely. It is. It is. But you do things differently, do things better-

Naomi: I think it's all in the mindset, and the approach to it.

Jess: Definitely. And having a good support network, and not-

Naomi: Absolutely.

Jess: ... be afraid to use it.

Naomi: Well thank you so much for joining us, and I will link to how everybody can connect to you in our show notes, 'cause your Instagram's awesome.

Jess: Aww, thank you. Thank you so much Naomi.


Naomi Nakamura is a Functional Nutrition Health Coach. Through her weekly show, The Live FAB Live Podcast, programs, coaching services and safer skincare solutions, she helps people with chronic skin issues clear up their skin by teaching them where food meets physiology and how food, gut health, stress, and toxins are intricately connected to the health and appearance of our skin. Naomi resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and can often be found romping around the city with her puppy girl, Coco Pop!
Connect with Naomi at: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest